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New bill could put teeth into texting ban law

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Updated: 11/02/2013 11:04 pm
ORLANDO, Fla. (WFTV) -- A new bill introduced in Tallahassee could make a texting law hold water.

Emmanuel Burdino makes it point to keep the phone down while he drives, but he can't say the same for others.

"Some people just don't care. They text anyway," Burdino said.

The Orange County Clerk's office pulled the number of tickets issued for texting while driving over the last month and discovered only seven tickets were written in Orange County, a small number relative to the dozen law enforcement agencies in the entire county.

"Wow! That's it? That's little bit," Burdino said.

Sgt. Richard Ruth with the Orlando Police Department Traffic Division said his department hasn't even issued one.

Ruth said he saw some texting, but it was hard for him to do anything.

"They were doing nothing else wrong that would allow me by law to stop them," Ruth said.

One other obstacle for cops are the physical barriers. If an officer is in the driver seat and sees someone in the next car possibly texting, unless the phone is high enough, the officer can't tell.

Add a window tint like many have in Florida and it's even harder to see, but that could change with a new bill filed in Tallahassee earlier this week.

The words "secondary offense" are crossed out, meaning if the bill passes, officers can pull people over just for texting.

Burdino said that's exactly what needs to happen, and he has a friend in another state who learned the hard way.

"Now she's in prison facing manslaughter charges because she was texting while she was driving," Burdino said.
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Realchange - 11/3/2013 1:19 PM
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How about police officers that text on their computers causing crashes or deaths? What is their penalty? None the law does not apply to them. So we have a two tiered law one that encourages negligence and criminal activity by police as they are "immune" from the law. Eliminate the loop hole that allows a police officer to text and drive otherwise you are discriminating and promoting corruption.
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